Our Interview with Ron Howard on His Involvement with Canon's "Project Imagin8ion" Contest and Short Film

Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard.jpgIf you haven't already heard, the renowned director and producer Ron Howard has teamed up with Canon USA on their "Project Imagin8ion" photo contest. This is the first ever photo contest where user photos will be the launching pad for a Hollywood short film. While originally Ron was chosen to lead and direct the film, it was announced on Friday (the 10th of June) that his lovely daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, is being brought on board to direct the film; while Ron stays on as the executive producer and final judge.

In this contest, which began on May the 22nd, users are encouraged to submit photos at www.youtube.com/imagination, based on 8 "movie themes": Setting, Time, Character, Mood, Relationship, Goal, Obstacle and the Unknown.

On June 14th, the contest will come to and end, and you the viewers and readers will be able to cast votes on your favorite photos until June 23rd. While you will have a vote, the final 8 winning photos will be chosen by a combination of Ron Howard, Bryce Dallas Howard, Freestyle productions, and Canon USA experts; with Ron Howard having the final say.

Once the final 8 are chosen, Ron, Bryce Dallas and their teams will start developing a script, with production taking place this summer and fall. The "Project Imagin8ion" short film will then premiere in New York City during a red carpet event where the contest winners will get to meet both Ron and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Remember, you can still submit photos to Canon's Project Imagini8ion youtube channel; but hurry as June 14th quickly approaches.

I was lucky enough to get 15 minutes with Mr. Ron Howard on Friday morning. I had a huge list of questions for Ron, as I'm a big fan of his work; both as a childhood actor and an adult producer/director. However, with such a short window I had to stay on target.

When asked how he got involved with Canon and Project Imagin8ion, he stated that when Canon brought the campaign to him and mentioned they would like him to lead it, he "instantly loved it" and went on to say "I wanted to present it, I wanted to be a part of it". However, due to the demands already placed on him by various other projects, Ron mentioned that he couldn't make that kind of commitment, however he thought he could "mentor somebody", while still playing a major role. Enter, his talented daughter Bryce Dallas Howard. When asked "how does it feel to see her (Bryce) follow in your footsteps", Ron replied "I'm very pleased with it....she's coming in to lead with her own charms". While Bryce and her team will be taking the lead on the Short Film, Ron did mention that he had the final say in the photo selection process. I asked if there were any pointers he could offer for our readers, but his response was more along the lines that "we'll know it when we see it"; sorry, no help there folks.  

After talking with Ron about Project Imagin8ion, I did have a few moments to ask Ron about photography; more specifically if he enjoyed it, and what gear her currently used. He mentioned that the introduction of Digital Photography has increased the time he spends taking photographs, however he considers himself "not even a hobbyist". He did mention that he uses Canon cameras, like the EOS 5D Mark II. On top of that, Ron finds himself using his mobile phone often for pictures.

Lastly, I asked Mr. Howard what he thought about "HD SLRs", and their impact on the filming/video world. While he hadn't personally shot a lot of video with them (that's the camera man's job), he did mention that he has directed and produced several skits with "Funny or Die" using them. He also noted that HD SLRs are very popular in Television; like the House season finale, Fox's 24, etc.

All in all, it was a great experience. Mr. Howard is an amazing individual, who is very pleasant and easy to talk with; one could talk with Ron all day without a problem. 

Don't forget that the deadline for photo entries is tomorrow (June 14th), so get your submissions in FAST!